Home Gaming Hotline Miami 2 banned in Australia for violent rape scene

Hotline Miami 2 banned in Australia for violent rape scene

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Hotline Miami 2 banned for extreme sexual violence

The first Hotline Miami was easily one of the most violent video games I’ve ever played. Despite the fact that it’s in 2D, Hotline Miami does a great job of depicting extremely gory acts, sometimes painting the entire environment red after a few bloody kills. The sequel seems to be reaching the same bar, and then pushing it much further, which is why Hotline Miami 2 has been banned in Australia.

Unlike previous years where nearly anything got banned down under, Australia has since introduced a R18 rating for truly explicit content. Any form of media that exceeds this rating is immediately banned, prohibiting the sale, advertising and demonstration of the product within the country. Hotline Miami 2 has been refused this classification, and the description of the scene which caused this doesn’t leave much room for argument.

The scene in question (which was alluded to in an early trailer) was described in a report sent to Kotaku Australia. It should be noted that the paragraph below contains descriptions of extremely violence, so read at your own discretion.

In the sequence of game play footage titled Midnight Animal, the protagonist character bursts into what appears to be a movie set and explicitly kills 4 people, who collapse to the floor in a pool of copious blood, often accompanied by blood splatter. After stomping on the head of a fifth male character, he strikes a female character wearing red underwear. She is knocked to the floor and is viewed lying face down in a pool of copious blood. The male character is viewed with his pants halfway down, partially exposing his buttocks. He is viewed pinning the female down by the arms and lying on top of her thrusting, implicitly raping her (either rear entry or anally) while her legs are viewed kicking as she struggles beneath him. This visual depiction of implied sexual violence is emphasised by it being mid-screen, with a red backdrop pulsating and the remainder of the screen being surrounded by black.

So not only is it a gruesome rape scene, it’s one that’s openly shown and unavoidable for players. Just reading the above description made me a little ill, so I can’t really fault the Australian Classification Board for not being able to find a suitable rating for content such as this. It also makes me wonder if Hotline Miami 2 will face similar issues in our countries, including our own.

Much like Hatred, this once again brings up the topic about how far is too far in a video game. It’s an art form for freedom of expression, sure, but should there be boundaries that are never crossed? Is some extreme subject matter better left out of player’s hands, and if so who gets to decide that? Would you play a game where you are forced to violently rape other characters?

I don’t think I would.

Last Updated: January 15, 2015

59 Comments

  1. What’s the point of age restrictions if you are going to ban it anyway?

    Reply

  2. HairyEwok

    January 15, 2015 at 09:41

    How can a rape scene be violent from a top-down 2D view XD

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 15, 2015 at 09:42

      It is what is implied, which is atrocious

      Reply

      • HairyEwok

        January 15, 2015 at 09:44

        I honestly have so much feels for Australia. They’re all stuck playing My Little Pony Dash, and worst is they have to do it in secret too or else they could be fined for playing a violent game.

        Reply

  3. Admiral Chief

    January 15, 2015 at 09:42

    Well they lost me as a customer

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      January 15, 2015 at 09:44

      You and me bud.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        January 15, 2015 at 09:52

        Some lines should NEVER be crossed, and I found HM not a bad game, but HM2 will not see any money/gametime from me

        Reply

        • RinceThis

          January 15, 2015 at 09:57

          Totally. But you will get people who will argue this for artistic merit. If that is okay, then were do we stop? Abuse of children? Torture of animals? What’s wrong with these devs? We have it bad enough with fucking FOX News always accusing us of this and that.

          Reply

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 15, 2015 at 10:20

            Like when i accidentally killed Chop in GTA V,i felt like shit,but it truly was a accident:-(

    • Hammersteyn

      January 15, 2015 at 09:45

      Me too

      Reply

    • David

      January 15, 2015 at 10:28

      This is as it should be – not banning it. If you don’t like something, don’t buy it.

      I’m not defending rape (that I have to say that is depressing because the default assumption shouldn’t be that defending depictions of rape = support of rape), but sometimes movies present complex themes through some pretty vile stuff in order for its audience to face this and/or be uncomfortable to invoke a response or feeling.

      Ironically, it’s arthouse film that does this often – so if we want games as art, then these uncomfortable themes need to be explored. Writing out what happens word for word, as done above, loses the context of the act. Are we supposed to hate the protagonist? Are we supposed to question why we’re playing this game? Does knowing this happen take the fangs out of what could’ve been an impactful scene, making us question the very nature of violence and how it’s portrayed?

      If you sterilize creators by saying this or that is off-limit, we won’t be given the tools to confront, examine or experience these potentially intellectual-building themes.

      Clockwork Orange, Irreversible, Man Bites Dog, Boys Don’t Cry and Pulp Fiction (for example) are all films that are critically lauded but depict sometimes brutal rape (one of them has a 20 minute rape scene for example). There are many classic novels that confront rape as well. Hotline Miami was actually a smart dissection of violence, catharsis and why we as the players are willing to murder just because that is the objective set in front of us – that was its theme.

      Now it’s within Australia’s rights to ban this game, so be it. I just don’t want to live in a world where I am not allowed to judge the value of a creator’s intention for myself (shit shock horror versus use of complex, adult themes to make an impact).

      Reply

      • Joe

        January 15, 2015 at 10:33

        I agree with trying to understand and confront rape through art and psychology in film, but executing rape in a game for entertainment does not sound like trying to understand it.

        Reply

        • David

          January 15, 2015 at 10:39

          Sure, but who is saying it’s exclusively entertainment – what happened before the rape? What happens after the rape?

          Also, it sounds like this happens during an in-game cinematic (forced) so the player isn’t executing the rape – they are forced to watch it (in horror). If it were a book, would you skip the page?

          What is happening here is the opposite, someone torn a page out of the book and is saying the entire book is horrid because of what is written on that one page. I’ll wait before I make a sling-shot judgement because of feels.

          Reply

          • Joe

            January 15, 2015 at 11:02

            Forced to watch…does sound like it. Agreed.

          • Dutch Matrix

            January 15, 2015 at 11:44

            Ah! Common sense prevails!

  4. RinceThis

    January 15, 2015 at 09:44

    Wow. That’s unnecessary. I don’t agree with censorship in most cases but this is taking it to a degree that is smutty and offensive. It sounds like there is no contextual reason for it other than pure shock so yeah, not going to be buying this.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 15, 2015 at 09:46

      Agreed. not even GTA goes this far. Games has had violence for ages but there is still a line.

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        January 15, 2015 at 09:48

        Exactly. I mean why have this? One thing having Trevor torture someone in GTAV because it’s story, but this doesn’t sound like the case. They think female gamers would want to play this? *opens door to white knights and #GG

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 15, 2015 at 09:50

          Anita is going to have a filed day with this

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            January 15, 2015 at 09:51

            HAHA!

          • Rock789

            January 15, 2015 at 09:52

            “a filed day” Why? Does she enjoy filing things for use later? **runs**

          • Admiral Chief

            January 15, 2015 at 09:52

            She files her nails so that she can…..ah screw it, not gonna go there

          • Hammersteyn

            January 15, 2015 at 09:53

            XD

          • RinceThis

            January 15, 2015 at 09:54

            BWAHAHA!

          • Admiral Chief

            January 15, 2015 at 09:52

            Filed nogal?

          • Hammersteyn

            January 15, 2015 at 09:53

            sorry field.
            *Beats intern because he hasn’t made coffee yet

          • Admiral Chief

            January 15, 2015 at 09:54

            YOU HAVE AN INTERN? Dammit, lucky bastard

          • Hammersteyn

            January 15, 2015 at 09:55

            More like a extra hand around the office.
            *COFFEE DAMN YOU!

  5. HairyEwok

    January 15, 2015 at 09:47

    Well at least the kids wont rebel with drugs and alcohol anymorein Australia. They’ll go and play banned games since that seems way more dangerous than narcotics.

    Reply

  6. oVg elfroot slayer

    January 15, 2015 at 09:49

    But the RAPE scene in MAD MAX gets the clear because it was filmed there.

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      January 15, 2015 at 09:50

      One thing actually DOING it in a game and another it being motivation for the main character’s rage.

      Reply

      • oVg elfroot slayer

        January 15, 2015 at 09:54

        I was having a dig at the Australian censorship laws that treat all adults as kids. Any game over 15 gets a ban, even Mortal Kombat.

        Reply

  7. Joe

    January 15, 2015 at 09:58

    This might be tricky…
    Many games involve you breaking the law, whether killing the antagonists, escaping from police, “commandeering” cars. Few games give you the option of maintaining the law…lawfully.
    Typically a game allows you to break the law against the “baddies” as a means to an end (end the boss committing all crime for example).
    Rape, on the other hand…is not a means to an end. You are the antagonist.
    Multiplayer games allow you to take on the role of the bad guy, but again…you being the bad guy is a means to the end…the end being competition. Rape in game, again serves no purpose but for the audience to experience being a rapist…which should not be desirable or advertised as possibly being desirable. But neither should shooting bad guys?

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      January 15, 2015 at 10:02

      What about GTA V then, it’s surely the same kind of gameplay but only in 3D AND first person.

      Reply

      • Joe

        January 15, 2015 at 10:13

        Exactly…and it left a bad taste with me. I never completed the first GTA game I tried…never tried another GTA.
        Games are games…they allow us to vaguely experience what we cant experience in real life (without consequences). But hurting innocent people is not what I want to experience in real or virtual life.

        Reply

  8. UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    January 15, 2015 at 10:03

    I think it would have been okay if he was stopping a rape and not committing it. Puts me off that the character I control rapes someone… =/

    Reply

  9. Ghost In The Rift

    January 15, 2015 at 10:24

    Well i see Manhunt is of everybody’s mind now,i remember when that was the big issue in gaming.

    Still haven’t tried it though.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 15, 2015 at 10:26

      It is quite, disturbing, to say the least

      Reply

      • Ghost In The Rift

        January 15, 2015 at 10:37

        Then i will skip it,i dont like games where the main focus is explicit violence

        Reply

        • ToshZA

          January 15, 2015 at 10:41

          Well the focus is actually more on stealth, but the game is exceptionally violent in its execution. Pun intended.

          Reply

  10. Dutch Matrix

    January 15, 2015 at 10:35

    OK. So there is a rape scene. What I want to know is, how does it fit into the narration? And if I can call it that, how does it fit into the protagonist’s time line?

    Reply

  11. ToshZA

    January 15, 2015 at 10:36

    It’s a game. In 2D. It’s just pixels. Are YOU raping anyone? No (well I certainly hope not). I have no issue with this. I’ve no interest in the game, but this scene is no different to the wanton murder spree that is the entire point of the entire game, including the first, critically acclaimed title.

    Reply

  12. CAE9872

    January 15, 2015 at 10:53

    My comments below are not necessarily related to this scene specifically but the banning of things in general – keep that in mind if you read further.

    I have read the various comments and a lot of “well ban this sick filth” types. OK but where is the line? Why do movies/books/etc get away with it but in games its a no-no? Likewise sex scenes! Why is it when a game includes them it is suddenly gaming porn?

    But here have this giant bazooka and go shoot to your hearts content.

    It makes no sense. Personally I abhor violence of any kind, but like most gamers I love shooting things – but I will never own a gun (if I can help it) as they scare me shitless.

    Anyway the point is why are games not allowed to explore themes which people detest in certain cases? Is it because you control the character that makes it more personal? Well if that is the argument then ban violent games with guns because hell I sure shoot a lot. It is non-sensical and to me personally, developers must develop. Tell me what is in your game and let ME choose what I will or won’t play.

    I do not like it when someone else chooses for me, a 42 year old male. And THAT is why I am against banning of things because it takes my freedom of choice away. And yes there are limits to what is “acceptable” and accept the line that must be drawn in certain cases. And I see the irony in that as well – keep the OK stuff but get rid of the extremely not OK stuff…but what is OK and not OK. Do we want some geriatric/people with vendettas making those choices for us?

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 15, 2015 at 10:55

      [blatantly skips over all you wrote and inserts joke about your age]

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        January 15, 2015 at 10:55

        As long as humour is never banned!

        Reply

      • CAE9872

        January 15, 2015 at 10:58

        LOL

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          January 15, 2015 at 10:59

          At least your age is in the last paragraph so you knew I read it 😛

          Reply

    • Brady miaau

      January 15, 2015 at 12:02

      You mean, like ban My little Pony and Smurfs, the first being Satanic and the second because they went to Papa smurf with their problems instead of God. (note, this is not a joke and it happened here in Sunny SA in the 80’s)

      I accept everything you say and support it.

      Sort of like with Porn, you want it, you got to a specialist shop that sells it. We need a system where age restrictions, which are put there for reason, are enforceable.

      You may play this game, but your 10 year old son?

      Reply

    • cookiemonster

      January 15, 2015 at 13:08

      The scène is sick.Though I hate having Thé choice taken from me.
      Wè should rather ban this:

      Reply

      • CAE9872

        January 15, 2015 at 13:18

        Yeah now THAT I can get behind banning. I wish we could all be forced to (a) use real names and (b) show our real photos so shit like this could mean I can come by the persons place and decapitate them. Suddenly internet angst would disappear!

        Most people wouldn’t say half the stuff they say if they know people could track them – if you won’t say something to someone’s face then you shouldn’t say it online either.

        Reply

        • cookiemonster

          January 15, 2015 at 13:28

          Least to say that this shocked me and that I had to explain this to my son

          Reply

  13. Vogiir

    January 15, 2015 at 11:09

    Its really meesed up to put something like that into a video game. Just shows how mest up yhe game creator must be. No thanks. Ill skip this game…coz clearly certain moral lines have been crossed here

    Reply

  14. Michelle

    January 15, 2015 at 11:38

    Why the heck would they even script something like that in a game,the developer clearly is a sick twisted individual?I hope it doesn’t come to SA,we have enough Woman and child abuse here, we don’t need this kind of twisted game being accepted in this country.

    Reply

    • Vogiir

      January 15, 2015 at 11:41

      Agreed

      Reply

  15. calbeck

    March 11, 2015 at 06:32

    If all you know of this scene is the above description, congratulations, you’ve been lied to.

    In fact, it IS a movie set, and YOU are playing one of the actors. There is no rape in the game at all, and this description stops JUST before the director on set yells “CUT!”.

    There is no way anyone could come up with that description without being deliberately misleading… and you fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    Reply

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